En Español

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Monday - May 30, 2011

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Deer Resistant
Title: Leaves being eaten off columbines
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

Hi, We recently planted some columbines and they have been doing quite well. Just today, we noticed that something has eaten all the leaves off a couple of the plants. Several that are planted close by seem to have escaped--so far. What could this be, and how do we treat it? Thanks.

ANSWER:

If all the leaves are gone, I would suspect deer.  I don't know what part of Austin you are in but some parts of Austin have high populations of deer and I can speak from experience that deer do like to eat Aquilegia canadensis (Eastern red columbine) and Aquilegia chrysantha var. hinckleyana (Hinckley's golden columbine).  Both are listed as moderately deer resistant but in this time of drought the deer are very likely to eat whatever is available.  You can try some of the deer repellents (chemical or mechanical) that are available at nurseries or you can fence the area to keep the deer out of your garden.  Some people put black plastic netting over or use it to make a barrier around the plants to keep the deer from eating them.  It would depend on how tall your columbines are or how big your flower bed is as to whether this method would be a feasible method for your situation.  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management has an excellent article, "Reducing Deer Damage to Your Yard and Garden", with descriptions of several methods of control, including homemade repellents.

 

 

More Deer Resistant Questions

Resourses that are being taken away - Tiffin OH
April 03, 2013 - What are resources that are being taken away from humans and organisms?
view the full question and answer

Native grasses and wildflowers to attract butterflies in Blanco Co., TX
February 23, 2005 - Could you please recommend (native, xeriscape, deer resistant) grasses and flowers that attract butterflies that can be grown in Blanco County?
view the full question and answer

Are birdhouse gourds deer-resistant?
January 24, 2009 - Bird house gourds: they smell nasty (to this human being) but I NEED to know if deer are as repelled as a human by the strong odor put off by the plants.
view the full question and answer

Leaves of Chile pequin consumed overnight from San Marcus TX
June 23, 2013 - Something ate all the leaves of my Chile petin overnight. There is a ton of frass under the plants but no sign of a critter to be found. These plants have been in the same area for years and this is t...
view the full question and answer

Deer Resistant Plants for East Texas
March 29, 2010 - We have a lake house at Lake Cypress Springs, between Mt Vernon and Winnsboro, in East Texas. Can you suggest some deer-resistant plants/shrubs that have the potential to last? I understand deer wil...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.
E-NEWSLETTER | BECOME A MEMBER | DONATE NOW | MEDIA | JOBS | SITEMAP | STAFF INTRANET
© 2016 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center